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OCT
16
0

A New Jersey Pharmacy Owner Charged With “Cash Skimming” Conspiracy – Is Your Pharmacy at Risk?

A New Jersey owner of several pharmacies was charged by indictment and arraigned today on charges of conspiracy to defraud the IRS by engaging in a "cash skimming" scheme.  The indictment alleges that the pharmacy's owner, his relative, and the pharmacist co-owner conspired to conceal cash income of pharmacies and did not report...
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  1849 Hits
1849 Hits
OCT
16
0

Importance of Addressing Third-Party Audits Properly

Third-party audits have the potential to wreak havoc on independent pharmacies.An audit on its own can be extremely costly due to time dedicated to gathering necessary documents and assisting the auditor.  Further, any discrepancies found can be subject to adjustments of thousands of dollars. Suspected misconduct has recently led to refer...
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  1387 Hits
1387 Hits
OCT
16
0

Medicare Appeals Backlog – Light at the End of the Tunnel?

The number of Medicare appeals cases pending to be heard by administrative law judges has been growing exponentially.  The backlog is now almost ten times larger than it was five years ago and is projected to reach two million by 2020 if no change is made.  The appeals process, as of now, takes at least three to four years, duri...
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  1232 Hits
1232 Hits
OCT
16
0

Merger Mania: Exploring the Impact of ESI/Cigna and CVS/Aetna Mergers on Independent Pharmacies

In a ground-shaking two weeks, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice approved multiple PBM/insurer mergers: first, the merger of Express Scripts Inc. and Cigna, and now, the merger of CVS Health (formerly CVS Caremark) and Aetna.  Both mergers marked major milestones. ESI was the last standalone major PBM, while the CVS...
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  1574 Hits
1574 Hits
SEP
23
0

DOJ APPROVES CIGNA-EXPRESS SCRIPTS MERGER

This is the time for independent pharmacies to be actively preparing for the impact of the Cigna-ESI merger—and the ensuing Aetna-Caremark merger—if they have not already done so. The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has approved the proposed Cigna-Express Scripts merger, clearing a significant obstacle to Cigna's acquisition of...
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  1320 Hits
1320 Hits
SEP
04
0

HHS Echoes Importance of HIPAA Compliance for Closed Businesses

Recently, HHS reiterated that severe consequences can be imposed for HIPAA violations, regardless of whether a business is still operational. If HIPAA violations were committed, a business can be charged long after its doors close. Moreover, providers working with associates who shut down operations or went bankrupt are equally liable for HIPAA vio...
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  1683 Hits
1683 Hits
SEP
04
0

CMS Updates Final Adverse Actions to Be Reported

CMS has released a list of updated final adverse actions that need to be reported to CMS in a timely fashion. The list includes, but is not limited to, certain convictions, exclusions, and revocations, regardless of whether records are expunged.  Additionally, CMS revoked certain requirements of Medicare enrollment in an effort to reduce provi...
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  1370 Hits
1370 Hits
AUG
18
0

Physical Therapy Practices are Growing – But Also Face Increased Challenges

2006 was a monumental year for New York physical therapists – New York State passed a law permitting physical therapists to directly treat patients without a referral from a physician, triggering an explosion of private physical therapy practices. Over a decade later, private practice is still thriving in the industry.  As patient volume ...
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  1665 Hits
1665 Hits
AUG
16
0

Compounding Pharmacies Under Scrutiny for Medicare Part D Billing Practices

OIG calls for "further scrutiny" of pharmacies and prescribers in connection with compounded drugs billed to Medicare Part D.   Pharmacies must be prepared to aggressively defend against this latest attack on the independent retail pharmacy industry. An explosive new report calls for "further scrutiny" of hundreds of pharmacies and prescr...
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  1597 Hits
1597 Hits
JUL
19
0

Can a Physician’s Medical Judgment be Basis for a False Claims Action? Appellate Court Rules Yes.

A doctor's certification or medical judgment regarding a certain treatment can be considered "false" if the treatment is not considered "reasonable and necessary" under the government's definition, even if the terms are not defined for the specific medical treatment. In a recent decision, United States ex rel. Polukoff v. St. Mark's Hospital ,...
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  1810 Hits
1810 Hits
JUL
02
0

Nationwide Crackdown Charges 601 Individuals with Over $2 Billion in Healthcare Fraud

In a sweeping crackdown that vastly exceeded investigations of years' past, the U.S. Department of Justice and Medicare Fraud Strike Force charged 601 individuals with over $2 billion in healthcare fraud. In Brooklyn and Long Island alone, numerous healthcare providers were charged with over a combined $163 million in healthcare fraud. The Medicare...
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  1657 Hits
1657 Hits
JUN
25
0

New Jersey Act Imposes New Requirements to Protect Consumers

New Jersey providers should be alert to the recently signed into law Out-of-Network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment, and Accountability Act.The Act pertains to, and enhances, consumer protections related to out-of-network healthcare charges.Health care facilities and professionals must ensure their compliance with these new requ...
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  1427 Hits
1427 Hits
JUN
08
0

New York State Takes Action Against Abusive PBM Audits, Grants New Protections to Independent Pharmacies

The recently passed New York State budget bill including sweeping new protections for independent pharmacies facing PBM audits.  The bill, which amends the Public Health Law, requires PBMs, when conducting audits, to accept purchase invoices from a broader range of wholesalers and distributors.  This provision is notable as PBMs...
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  2145 Hits
2145 Hits
JUN
04
0

What NYC Employers Must Know About the Safe Leave Law

The former NYC Earned Sick Time Act, popularly known as the Paid Leave Law, is now the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act.  Previously, the Act obligated employers to provide a certain amount of sick leave for their employees. The new amendments to the Act, which are presently going into effect, allow employees to use paid leave not only for s...
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  1566 Hits
1566 Hits
JUN
04
0

New York State Imposes Limitations on LHCSA Applications

Recently, New York State implemented a two-year moratorium on the processing and approval of applications for licensure of Licensed Home Care Service Agencies ("LHCSAs").This moratorium suspends the Department of Health's processing of LHCSA applications, subject to certain exceptions. Presently, the exceptions include applications for ALP-Related ...
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  1267 Hits
1267 Hits
NOV
29
0

The Rising Cost of Employing Excluded Individuals

Healthcare providers are increasingly feeling the cost of employing excluded individuals.Indeed, over the past year, the number of enforcement actions taken against physician's offices, pharmacies and other entities employing excluded individuals have risen sharply. "Excluded individuals" are parties excluded from Federally-funded healthcare progra...
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  2365 Hits
2365 Hits
NOV
15
0

Under the Travel Act, Aggressive Federal Enforcement Against Providers Expands

Q.  When does a purely state criminal law-based matter transform into a federal felony prosecution? A.  When the Federal Travel Act (the "Travel Act") is implicated.Under the Act, a party who travels in interstate commerce or uses the mail or any facility in interstate commerce, with intent to promote or carry on "unlawful activities...
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  2242 Hits
2242 Hits
OCT
11
0

FEDERAL CRACKDOWN ON PRESCRIBERS OF COMPOUNDED MEDICATIONS

A recent health care fraud guilty plea by a physician has caught the attention of prescribing physicians and the broader industry surrounding compounded medications.Under the plea agreement in New Jersey District Court, the physician admitted to prescribing approximately $25 million worth of compounded medications that were either medically unneces...
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  2352 Hits
2352 Hits
SEP
26
0

COMPOUNDING PHARMACIES MAY SOON HAVE NEW MARKET OPPORTUNITIES

Compounding pharmacies, one of the fastest growing sectors in retail pharmacy, may soon be able to expand the market for their products in exchange for agreeing to be placed directly under federal oversight, according to U.S. Food & Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Currently, a sterile compounding pharmacy may&nbs...
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  2223 Hits
2223 Hits
SEP
21
0

PHARMACY COMPLIANCE UPDATE: GROWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM

Membership programs are a common tool used by retail pharmacies to grow their business. Under this type of program, a pharmacy will give member patients certain benefits, usually taking the form of rebates, discounts, or coupons on in-store items, as a way of developing customer loyalty. As these member patients often fill prescriptions at the same...
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  1989 Hits
1989 Hits